I started doing Hot Bikram Yoga at my local place, favoured by Gwynnie, Mads and even our own Andy Murray. I had to do something to get out of the slump I was in – not doing any running, getting a bit peeved that my jeans were getting slightly tight and I’m the type of person that if it’s not convenient or easy to do, then I will simply not bother – I need some motivation!
They were offering 20 days of HBY for £35 which I thought was pretty reasonable and it was a chance to try it out. I’d heard about it and reports tell me that it’s an amazing way to lose weight and be very toned and flexible. So far, so good.
The first session was a bit unnerving – there were loads of skinny, toned, flexible, young things who had obviously worked hard to get their lean bodies into shape. I want to be like that! So, I settle myself down at the back and they say the main thing is to: 1. stay in the room during the whole 90 minutes 2. don’t drink any water between each pose. Easy peasy. Well so I thought.
While I was not bad at the poses (had done a fair bit of yoga before), I was a bit self-conscious that I was sweating so much – literally like I had done a zillion hours of exercise or dunked myself into a pool. The good thing was that everyone else was sweating the same if not more than me. The next thing to bear in mind was that the room was very hot. For me, I’m a hot weather girl, I love a bit of heat but some may find it unbearable. Considering we’re not supposed to drink in between each pose, it really is a test of will and determination. A lot of people in the class are absolutely experts at this – do not compete – they do it all the time so just do what you can and you’ll get there! Also, don’t feel self-conscious, you just need to concentrate on yourself and not on other people. Once you get over this, you’ll be fine.
The class was enjoyable, we had a really nice American teacher who was also an opera singer, so at the end when doing the Savasana she sang us a very relaxing lullaby. In the next session, we had another teacher who was a bit aggressive and pushed you harder with a very annoying finger clicking and hand clapping technique that really put me off. So it’s a bit hit-and-miss as to whether you enjoy the classes or the teacher.
The 90 minutes was of 26 sequential poses with some Savasana in between. The poses are not too hard, it’s just getting used to the heat really. I sat out of one of the poses due to feeling a bit sick but I guess it was all the water I’d drunk during the day that did it (you have to drink at least 2 litres of water prior to going) as it helps with the heat and ensures you stay hydrated when you’re sweating buckets!). After the first class you can have headaches, dizzy and a feel a bit spaced out but by the second class you’re already on your way to getting used to it. I didn’t sit out and didn’t feel terrible by then.
I went about 8 times in my 20 day trial and by the end I was definitely more flexible and felt great after it all. The only downside is that Hot Yoga is not cheap, full price is about £140 for 10 sessions or you could take a monthly/yearly membership but even that makes it £8 a session and you’d have to go pretty much four times per week (who has the time?!) to make it worth it, therefore, making it a very pricey and time consuming hobby. I may try it again in the New Year as it really is a great way to unwind and forget about your daily stresses, so I will look into this again – watch this space!